1916-1917 Ice Palaces

The 1916 and 1917 Ice Palaces

In 1916 and 1917, through his enthusiasm and financial support, Louis W. Hill, Chairman of the Great Northern Railway, shifted carnival emphasis to sporting events and parades. The 1916 palace was built on Harriet Island, and resembled a western-style fort. Since the largest parade marching group was Hill’s Great Northern railroad employees under the banner of “Glacier Park,” the theme seemed appropriate. This carnival boasted 108 queens, and the first use of gasoline engine-powered floats. Many floats broke down, and this type of float was banned from 1917 events.

The 1916 Ice Palace

In 1917, there were two palaces. The Queens Palace overlooked a skating rink in Rice Park, and the more traditional and ceremonial palace was built on the golf course of Town and Country Club. Founded to participate in the first two carnivals, the Nushka (Toboggan) Club founded the Town and Country Club in late 1887 as a year-round social club.

1917 Winter Carnival Marchers

21,000 people were enrolled in marching clubs in 1917. One of the most dramatic events of this carnival was a 510-mile dog sled race from Winnipeg, Canada to St. Paul, Minnesota. Albert Campbell, a First Nations Canadian, won the race. Fred Hartman, the only American to race, completed the race on foot after his lead dog died.

The United States entry into World War I ended plans for a 1918 carnival. Publication of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Ice Palace” brought national attention to St. Paul in 1920.

Featured image: The 1917 Ice Palace

More Ice Palace History:
1886 Ice Palace
1887 Ice Palace
1888 Ice Palace
1889-1900 Ice Palaces
1916-1917 Ice Palaces
1930-1937 Ice Palaces
1938-1941 Ice Palaces
1942-1975 Ice Palaces
1976-2004 Ice Palaces